Electronic health records
NWT launches interoperable EHR using
YELLOWKNIFE, NWT – Residents of the
Northwest Territories, and the health professionals who care for them,
will soon benefit from electronic access to medical information such as
lab results as the territory rolls out the first release of the
interoperable Electronic Health Record project.
Release 1 of the interoperable Electronic Health Record (iEHR), the
HealthNet Viewer, is now being connected to authorized groups of
healthcare professionals at clinics and health centres in the NWT.
By March, most of the territory’s health professionals will have instant
access to the electronic medical information of their patients, such as
lab results, discharge summaries and diagnostic imaging reports.
“Northwest Territories residents can be proud of this accomplishment,
which is a result of hard work, collaboration and investment in
electronic health record systems,” said Minister of Health and Social
Services Sandy Lee.
“These efforts will continue to make our health information more readily
accessible when clinicians need it most.”
Canada Health Infoway, the independent, not-for-profit organization
funded by the federal government that invests with public sector
partners across Canada to implement and reuse compatible health
information systems, invested $5.7 million in the project.
The NWT HealthNet Viewer is a web-based portal that will allow
authorized health clinicians “view only” access to a client’s key
medical information anywhere, and at any time to support enhanced
patient safety and delivery of care.
For example, lab results will be available in the Viewer once the
results are known, significantly reducing the amount of time it takes
for clinicians to receive the paper based results - in some cases by a
number of weeks.
“Electronic access to health information such as lab results is key to
reducing wait times, patient safety and better access to care,” said
Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. “I applaud
the work of the government of the Northwest Territories for not only
reaching this milestone, but for the collaboration with Alberta,
replicating their successes to deliver an efficient and robust system
for the Northwest Territories.”
The HealthNet Viewer will initially contain text reports from Stanton
Hospital (including consultations, discharge summaries, operative
procedures, and delivery summaries) and laboratory results from Stanton,
Hay River and Inuvik laboratories, as well as those referred by NWT to
DynaLife Laboratory in Alberta.
Records and paper files where they exist today will continue to be
maintained as before; however, the HealthNet Viewer provides the
opportunity for clinicians to view information which already exists in
different electronic systems across the Territories in a consolidated
A broad rollout to all healthcare providers across the NWT will follow
shortly. This first Release is the building block that will allow for
additional information to be included in subsequent releases. Work on
Release 2 of the HealthNet Viewer is beginning; it will feature
additional functions and further expand the information available to
Posted Jan. 28, 2010